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Premiership West Coast Eagles captain Shannon Hurn steps down from role

“I will still lead in the same way that I always have, I am committed to helping my teammates be better players and to build towards our next premiership. That doesn’t change.

“While I have really enjoyed being captain, I feel at this stage in my career I can’t commit the time and pay the respect that the role needs and requires.”

The defender, affectionately dubbed “Bunga” by teammates, originally hailed from Angaston, in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, and debuted for the Eagles back in 2006.

His first full season as captain came in 2015, after the role with Josh Kennedy, Eric Mackenzie and Matt Priddis in 2014 when Darren Glass retired mid-season.

That first season under his watch resulted in a grand final appearance, but the team fell flat against a dominant Hawthorn.

Three years later, another crack at the grand final saw the Eagles defeat Collingwood to take home the premiership trophy.

Shannon Hurn, centre, celebrates with teammate Jeremy McGovern, Tom Barrass, Tom Cole, Elliot Yeo and Will Schofield after winning the 2018 grand final.

Shannon Hurn, centre, celebrates with teammate Jeremy McGovern, Tom Barrass, Tom Cole, Elliot Yeo and Will Schofield after winning the 2018 grand final. Credit:AAP

Hurn’s respect among players was evident on and off the field, with teammate Will Schofield reminiscing in a piece for aflplayers.com.au earlier this year on his first impressions when he arrived at the club.

“Bunga looked like he had been playing AFL for 10 years and had 200 games under his belt as a 19-year-old,” Schofield wrote.

But the maturity beyond his years extended to how Hurn carried himself through the captaincy, Schofield wrote, becoming a figure many looked up to.

“Bunga is such a great mind on the footy field but when you become the captain of a footy club you’ve got to be able to spread your love across the whole list,” he said.

“He doesn’t try to be someone he’s not. Instead he’s able to relate to everyone and talk to them on a Shannon Hurn level even though he doesn’t live the same lifestyle as everyone else.”

West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett said Hurn had led the club “impeccably” and “could not be more highly regarded by everyone at the club”.

“He calls it as he sees it and even in making this decision he has been very clear about it,” Mr Nisbett said.

“Obviously he will continue to play an important role in the team and will support his successor to transition into the position.”

In addition to leading the Eagles to two grand finals, Hurn is a two-time all-Australian vice captain and veteran of 269 career games.

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